Rational suicide (including helium)

Helium has been the most popular method of choice for those considering rational suicide. Distressing (or likely to be distressing) methods of suicide, such as hanging, shooting, wrist slashing, household chemicals, tend to be used by those who are not making well-considered decisions in the face of unbearable and unrelievable illness.

Please note (April 2015): A major gas supplier is now supplying canisters of “helium balloon gas” that contains only 80 per cent helium. These are unsuitable for ending one’s life, should that day come and the need arise.
(Note that it is only Balloon Time (manufactured by Worthington) that have officially changed their policy to a helium ‘mix.’ Balloon Time canisters are easily recognised since they are bright pink in colour. The other party balloon kits, known as ‘Balloon Occasion’ are a dull beige colour and are manufactured by BOC. BOC’s data sheets still specify their balloon gas at the original, unmixed purity. 8/May/’15.)

see here

Rational suicide is not overly difficult. We would prefer that those can find value, quality and dignity in their life, no matter how severe the circumstances appear just now, seek support and help as soon as possible – after all, what have you got to lose? This site is aimed first and foremost to those who want rational insurance against an unknown future, and the ability to take matters into their own hands should they decide the time has come to end their days. Exit does not encourage anyone to end their life by suicide: but in the event that a person has made a conscious, competent, well-informed and persistent decision, free of influence from anyone else, and is so determined that nothing anyone else could say will make any difference: in such circumstances, we sincerely hope that such persons find a less painful, less undignified, less distressing means of consummating their final act.

Exit provides comprehensive information on methods of rational suicide but for reasons of common sense and the law we provide this in group workshops, in our graphic magazine for members (Exit Newsletter) and in our published book series, Five Last Acts; not on a one-to-one personal basis, over the phone, or by email. This website includes tips and additional information to assist persons with the information, complementing such information with the latest news and updates. It is not, however, intended as a complete guide in itself.

The main dignified and peaceful methods used by persons facing unbearable and unrelievable conditions are a) helium, b) compression of the arteries, c) sleeping tablets used with a hood, prescription and non-prescription medicines, and willed refusal of liquids and food. While all these methods are capable of producing a dignified death, some are harder than others. We recommend any responsible adult to consult either our comprehensive books on the subject or do research using other available materials.

Persons conducting more in-depth research into the methods might be interested in the larger of our larger textbooks, The Exit Path, which examines different approaches to the use of helium for rational suicide (self-deliverance).

Thousands of people draw strength just from our publications. They say that knowing how to take control gives them courage to face the future with its many unknowns. They will probably never have to take matters into their own hands but, as with insurance policies, it’s good to know you have some cover, something to help you make back-up plans, should the worst eventuality ever come to pass.

We are all going to die one day, and the fear of death or dying can haunt us in our later years. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear. It dispels the darkness of ignorance and puts us back in control – or at least restores more control than we had before in most cases. It gives us a choice. It can restore our courage. The will to live is so strong that in all but the most exceptional cases it will prevail until the end. But if you regard your life as special (as it is), if you are the sort of person who likes to be in charge of their own life, then the final segment should be one of your own choosing.

It is important to understand the realities. Various factors can mean a very undignified or painful death (whether naturally, in medical care or by one’s own hand) and other factors can mean a good, peaceful and fulfilling end to life – again, whether naturally, with the help of medicine, or even bringing it a little closer to a time and manner of one’s own choosing. A person’s death is not even limited to their own experience: as the crowning event of your life, it will live on in memory for those that you love. Making that memory one of conscious control and freedom from indignity and pain is an important consideration for many of us.

Knowing the ins and outs of using helium alone is not a complete solution. There may be circumstances that would make it impossible or very difficult. There are also important considerations about relationships, social practicalities and making the most of available medicine. Even with these covered, there may still be the psychological factors – fear of all “this” – one’s life, one’s consciousness – coming to a complete end. While most of Exit’s work, research and written material focuses on methods of rational suicide, these additional factors are not ignored.

We don’t recommend a ‘quick fix.’ We recommend choosing one of our publications and reading it several times to absorb it. By doing that today, you can insure for the future.

Helium is the most popular method of self-deliverance among members of right-to-die groups. But helium cannot be used, for instance, in a hospital or situations where other might interfere. With manufacturers and retailers contaminating some supplies with air, other inert gases will be more frequently sought. Most of use do not know exactly what the future will bring.

We recommend you prepare for more than one ‘exit’ – depending on your freedom of movement, abilities to swallow, mental alertness, whether in a nursing home/hospital, and your overall physical state and support. Our ‘Five Last Acts’ gives you options from which you can be Free to Choose … and in doing so choose a PEACEFUL DIGNIFIED DEATH.

FLAII&FLA-TEP

The 2015 update of Five Last Acts II includes the warning about helium, mostly applicable to balloon kits purchased from April 2015. The 2015 edition of  Five Last Acts The Exit Path (822 pages), due mid to late May 2015, includes in-depth examination of the changes regarding helium and a very detailed look at nitrogen alternatives. The conference brochure, Methods & Dialogues, (below centre) is based on a 2014 seminar and of interest mainly to persons who are already familiar with either edition of Five Last Acts and similar publications. (Note: Amazon is selling older editions at a very greatly reduced price in some countries, extending our special offer to readers of this Blog.)

FLAII, M&D, FLATEP 2015EV

 

 

 

The 2015 edition of Five Last Acts II (green background, above) has some small updates to reflect the changed situation on helium. The 2015 edition of Five Last Acts – The Exit Path, a major new upodate (blue background, above) includes very detailed analysis, references and exposition on both helium and nitrogen. See the Publications Page of this Blog for more details.

recommended booksEXIT NL

 

 

Exit main poster
Download this poster to display in your library, community centre, or citizens advice bureau.

Suicide and vulnerable persons
Download this poster to tell people about suicide prevention services (UK).

Tri-fold leaflet about Five Last Acts – The Exit Path
Free to download and print.

For more posters, scroll down to the bottom of the Home page

Please note: Exit works on a small budget. You might also consider a donation or bequest.

Please check relevant posts on the main Blog before posting a Comment. If you want to search for a particular subject, there is a search tool on the right hand column (scroll down past the books). As the Blog is an ongoing news analysis tool, we cannot always keep older posts up to date, so check the newer entries. Thanks!

21 Responses to Rational suicide (including helium)

  1. Richard Queener says:

    I am 83 years old with several health issues, the exit bag seems the best alternative in my case.

    • Edward says:

      Just make sure you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the procedure, Richard. It is simple enough, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. I purchased the “Five Last Acts” book, so I am now confident about my ability to successfully complete two of the deliverance methods (Compression and Helium). I wish you all the very best, and always remember, it is YOUR life, so do not let anybody tell you how to live it or end it.

    • Ep248 says:

      I am very happy there are people out there really helping people

  2. Sam says:

    Thank you, for your support. The stigma that surrounds suicide is wrong and in no way helpful to those struggling with this difficult decision. Many people will commit suicide, but just like abortion, many will suffer until it is a legal procedure that can be done in a safe manner, without shame or embarrassment, by a medical professional .

  3. C says:

    I think the stigma around suicide, and at the fact that at various times it has been considered criminal or sinful, stems from the damage caused to loved ones by distressing methods. If this emotional damage were unneccessary – or at least, mitigated – by the availability of a genuinely peaceful and well-thought-out method, the concept of rational suicide might be better accepted and the use of distressing methods would shrink to those who either were sadly not rational at the time, or in some way vengeful towards themselves or others.

  4. C says:

    And yes, like Sam, I think that the argument is similar to abortion – both are uncomfortable decisions that must never be taken lightly; but in a civilised free society we must also have the right to informed choice. Unlike Sam, I think that the involvement of medical professionals on a large scale (ie, government regulated) basis is ultimately likely to result in less choice, rather than more through the emergence of societal/economic pressure to end “unproductive” lives. Better to have a legal, available method that the majority of those who wish it – other than the most ill or disabled, who will of course require assistance – can do for themselves.

  5. Gary says:

    Yes, I agree with you. I am fifty eight and have numerous health, financial problems etc. I saw both my parents have lingering deaths in old age I hope that I do not exit the world in the same way!

  6. Jon Vincent says:

    We are humane with our sick and elderly animals and can chose to put them out of their misery. Why can’t we be as humane with people? I suppose as long as the religious zealots believe in the myth that is religion it will never happen. A crime really.

  7. Gary says:

    I absolutely agree with you. Religion (all this nonsense) continues to be so harmful in this day and age. It would be rational and humane to stop people suffering in the way that sick animals are helped out of their misery.

  8. There is no way if I was an animal I would be continuing to suffer on as I am I would at least appreciate to have the availability of this option of a good death it would give me comfort and may even help me just knowing it was a possibility if things were either not to improve or get any worse i do not wish to become or remain as vulnerable as I am and reliant on others to survive it is not a life sadly I wrote my thesis on euthanasia many years ago never expecting in my thirties I would be wishing for it to be legalised but I now believe it should be

  9. Teena Swinburne says:

    Dignity, peace, calmness, level headed decisions and choice in the face of adversity. Why are all these things denied to us?

  10. Jon Vincent says:

    I can’t imagine having a life threatening illness so young. But, like you, I believe that death with dignity should be OUR choice and not be banned because of a bunch of religious zealots. Our beloved animals don’t have to suffer, why should we. Too barbaric!

  11. chuck says:

    I had a beautiful dear friend who died peacefully with prescribed morphine and guidance from hospice. I hadn’t realized it but maybe this is a viable option for the terminally ill.

  12. Maarten Pennink says:

    Very well phrased. The notion that one can dispel or at least push back the sense of fear, so prevalent in our society is encouraging. Also, the public acknowledgement that it is “my” body and therefore, one needs to make the final decision if at all possible an essential part of the end phase.
    All of us need to focus on life in a productive sense – that’s the life worth living. When that fades away it may well be time to recognize: “When the party is over, the party is over!”
    It is difficult imagining that the members of one’s family and friends want to remember one for the months and even years in a debilitating state. The threshold should be crossed gracefully and thoughtfully speedy.

  13. Dee says:

    reading this, and all the following comments; i suddenly feel at home. I am looking forward to learning.

  14. Andromeda says:

    Seems strange that sick animals are helped off the planet by vets, but we aren’t allowed to end our miserable existences because of the viral mental conditions of religion and those who want to control us.

  15. Kenan Yesil says:

    Need info on how to get books mentioned in your article. Also about helium canisters suppliers. Living overseas not in USA

    • All our books are available through the Amazon sites of various countries and also good booksellers. Some details on canisters in the blog article; however we do not give one-to-one info or how-to instructions on the Blog, as explained. Please see this post and look out for subsequent ones on nitrogen.

  16. martin says:

    When exactly is the balloon time cylinder mixed with air from ?.
    I have a BT tank from around a year ago, would this still be OK to use ?
    Thank you.

    • There’s at least two difficulties here. We cannot speak for Balloon Time or Worthington, but what we did do was a search on their data sheets using the Internet Wayback machine. Balloon Time stated as policy on their website that from April their tanks would be supplied with the new “balloon mix” gas. Their data sheet reflected this. Worthington had changed their specification for balloon gas a couple of months before this, as close as can be seen from comparing earlier versions of the page containing their data sheet.

      There is another problem (or two) but there is also some less than bad news. If a helium tank is diluted with 20 per cent air, that means that it is still about 95 per cent inert gas (Since air is made up, very roughly of 20 per cent oxygen and 80 per cent nitrogen:
      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-composition-d_212.html)
      If you look at charts on the effects of anoxia (lack of oxygen) from either the medical literature or the gas companies, it’s pretty close to a lethally small amount of oxygen anyway.

      The less than good news is that it is easy to think in terms of absolutes that aren’t there. The legal and practical expectation that balloon gas suppliers adhere to is that the product is “fit for purpose”: in other words, it will float balloons. There is not much necessity for manufacturers to specify the exact composition. Their data sheets, from any period, are therefore just a guide. They might drop the percentage of helium to 60 and balloons would still float, and if they add “Hi Float” (a noxious substance that sticks to the inside of the balloon to make it stay afloat longer) they could actually get the percentage right down. Is every tank the same? Clearly not. Hundreds of people have used their cylinders over the past years for self-euthanasia and there have only been very isolated incidences of failure (remember some false reports were also spread by abolitionists). So rather than Worthington, or even Balloon Time, it could be the case that local distributors go against those companies official recommendations. (I’ll probably put some more comments in a general post on the Blog when I get a moment, but the best detailed info is in the new version of Five Last Acts – The Exit Path).

Leave a comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s